Your resume alone may not be enough to get you in the door for an in-person job interview. Often, a telephone interview is a preliminary step. For instance, if a prospective employer has 100 applicants for a position, they may narrow the field to 15 who are interviewed by phone – and then seven or fewer are called back for personal meetings.
Whether or not you make the cut depends on what you do before, during and after your phone interview.
Use these tips to prepare for your interview:
- Do your homework. Thoroughly research the company and your interviewer, just as you would for a face-to-face interview. One of the advantages to a phone interview is you can have a “cheat sheet” in front of you. But regardless, be prepared to respond in a conversational, unrehearsed fashion. No reading from cue cards allowed!
- Prepare your own questions. They can make or break your interview. Design them with two goals in mind: to get the information you need to determine whether you want to further pursue the job opportunity; and to demonstrate how you are the perfect person for the role.
- Create a comfortable environment. Do whatever it takes to feel comfortable and at ease. Select a quiet, well-lit room and eliminate any and all distractions. Print out your resume and highlight points you want to bring up during your interview. Be ready 10 minutes early, so you don’t appear rushed or disorganized. Have pen and paper handy to take notes.
When the phone rings, answer confidently and professionally – and then let your interviewer set the tone. Begin by actively listening.
- Find things you have in common. Take notes – and flag relevant details, so you can begin to bond with your interviewer as you respond. Look for ways to make these connections, such as, “That sounds familiar. I handled a similar situation at XYZ Company. Here’s what I did … “
- Maintain an even tone and don’t rush your responses. At the same time, show some of your personality. Your interview is about more than just questions and answers. A prospective employer is trying to gauge your level of self-confidence, ability to communicate effectively and fit for the company and the role.
- Finish strong. End the call on a positive note. For instance, finish by saying “Thank you for the call. I like what I’ve heard and I feel confident I could do the job. I’d be pleased to meet with you in person. What’s the next step?”
Courtesy and patience are the rule once you have concluded your phone interview.
- Send a thank-you note. Let half a business day go by and then send a brief email. Confirm your interest in the position and desire to take things to the next level.
- Be patient. If you haven’t heard anything, follow up after one week and again after two weeks. At the three-week point, send one last reminder email. Then, leave it up to them.
Once you’ve followed all these steps, it’s time to face reality and move on. The right opportunity is out there … you just have to be persistent and find it.
The PrideStaff Fresno team would love to help you find your next great job. We can partner with you throughout your search process to help ensure success. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.